Jealousy Damages Relationships – how do we overcome our natural tendency?
Being vulnerable is probably one of the most difficult to achieve states. Humans are generally, by nature overprotective about their own feelings. We would do anything to keep our heart from breaking and our feelings from getting hurt. However to be truly in love with someone, one must let go of all fears, reservations and doubts. This is what it means to be truly vulnerable. It is not easy to achieve because throughout the years, we have let our past experiences build a self defense mechanism that stops us from letting us truly bare ourselves in front of anyone.
At the slightest provocations, we ruffle up our feathers as if our very own existence is under attack. For partners in a marriage, uncertainty and fear of being cheated on never leaves their mind. It is always there, breeding on our fears in an inner corner of our mind. Most of us are afraid to trust someone completely, although we claim that we trust our partners, this trust is easily breakable at a moment’s doubt. Unable to understand our own feelings, we delve deeper in self doubt and jealousy. No matter how many times our partner tell us that we have nothing to fear, the doubt keeps coming back, creeping into our mind and making us turn cold towards our partners.
A Vicious Cycle of Fear and Jealousy
Nights are spent contemplating if our fears are true or not, untrusting due to our fear of disappointment, we create a cycle of self fulfilling prophecy. We do not trust our partners because our inner insecurities make us doubt their loyalty while all this doubt makes us feel trapped and suffocated, over time this causes us to withdraw from our partner. When they in turn feel our withdrawal and icy nature, they feel defensive and in turn resent us for not trusting them. Once we start doubting, the doubt never truly goes away, unless we take a long hard look at what lies underneath all the trust issues.
In our attempt to protect ourselves from pain and loss, we create a web of emotions that draw us closer to our own destruction. We do all this, undergo all the pain simply because we are too afraid to be vulnerable and trust our partners completely. However it is easier said than done. In order to stop feeling jealous and start trusting our partners to the point of vulnerability, we need to understand what causes our inner reactions and why we think in this manner.
Where does the green monster of jealousy come from?
Many times when we are jealous it is because we are insecure about our own self worth. We do not feel worthy of our partner’s attention and as a result fear that they will leave us or their attention will drift from us. This could possibly stem from abusive relationships in your past. It could be from a relationship between your parents and you, or a romantic relationship. Your self-worth could be damaged due to a cheating partner who broke your trust by cheating and shattered your heart or an abusive parent. When you do not feel worthy or deserving of love, the doubt never leaves your side.
If you have been told you won’t amount to anything or if you have always been loved under conditions such as if you get good grades, your parents told you they love you and when you misbehaved, they told you that you won’t amount to anything. This is but one example and many such situations in relationships can make one doubt there own worth and as a result refuse to believe when people tell them that they love them. If you tend to look for an ulterior motive when people are treating you nicely, you have insecurities that need to be dealt with immediately.
How To Stop It
In order to stop the green eyed monster from raising its head and to overcome this insecurity and feeling of worthlessness, you need to confess and come clean to your partner. Unless and until they know what is wrong with you and what causes you to become jealous, they will not be able to understand your plight and help you.
Once they understand where the emotions are coming from, they will soon realize that it is not they who are at fault, but your history which is coloring your perspective. This knowledge helps a lot and makes it easier to set some ground rules that will help keep you feeling secure and make it easier for you to trust your partner. Here is a sample of what kind of rules will help develop trust between the two of you, you can follow this pattern and create some of your own.
- Make every issue open to discussion between the two of you. No discussion is taboo or should make either of you react angrily at the other.
- Always remember that your partner wants your best and they would never do anything to hurt you.
- Make sure the relationship between the two of you is safe and as a result keep it free from judgments and accusations.
- Make sure your partner and you allow each other access to your email accounts and your cell phones so that the two of you can be sure that there is nothing hidden from any of you.
- Your partner should be introduced to each of your friends so that they know who you hang out with and the same goes for them.
- When forming rules, do not force any rule on them and instead choose to discuss why you want a specific rule put in place. When you communicate how something makes you feel, chances are, your partner will listen and agree to what you are saying.
To make a relationship work, you need to communicate openly and honestly. By keeping emotions bottled up, you are just delaying the reaction and delayed reactions are usually worse than their initial forms. You will create problems if you do not trust your partner and your heart may shatter in to thousand pieces. Instead, you can trust them and be vulnerable, your heart might break but it is not safer either way. It is always better to trust and then lose instead of being afraid to trust and losing anyway.
I see a lot of jealousy in my practice. It has consumed and destroyed many marriages. It’s not easy to overcome. If you continue to have problems – please give us a call today to set up an appointment for your first session. We can help.